Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Interactions between biotic and abiotic factors affect survival in overwintering Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae).

Abstract

Drosophila suzukii Matsumura is an invasive species affecting berry crops and cherries throughout North America, South America, and Europe. Previous research suggests that in temperate climates, the overwintering success of D. suzukii is likely dependent on access to food, shelter, and adequate cold hardening. We performed a multi-state study under field conditions for two winters to determine whether D. suzukii sex, phenotype (summer-morphotype, winter-morphotype), and life stage (adults, pupae) affected survival over time while recording naturally-occurring spatial and temporal variation in temperature. Access to food was provided and the flies were buried under leaf litter. Baited traps were deployed to determine whether local populations of D. suzukii were active throughout the winter season. The duration of exposure, mean daily temperature, and cumulative time below freezing significantly affected survival. Below freezing, D. suzukii survival was significantly reduced, particularly in northern locations. In contrast, we observed sustained survival up to 10 wk in southern locations among adults and pupae. Biotic factors also significantly affected survival outcomes: female survival was greater than male survival, winter-morphotype survival was greater than summer-morphotype survival, and adult survival was greater than pupal survival. In the north, wild D. suzukii were captured only in early winter, while in the south they were found throughout the winter. These data suggest that although adult D. suzukii may overwinter in sheltered microclimates, this ability may be limited in regions where the ground temperature, or site of overwintering, falls below freezing for extended durations.